New York Public Library Is Now Lending Out Ties and Other Accessories for Job Interviews

iStock / iStock

Not everyone has a closet full of business-appropriate or semi-formal clothing, and the cost of spiffing up your look for a job interview, a graduation, or another important event on your calendar can be pretty high. So in New York City, the public library is opening its closet to anyone who needs to borrow fancier accessories—like ties.

The New York Public Library’s Grow Up work accessories collection, located at the Riverside Library on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, allows library card holders to borrow ties, briefcases, and handbags for three-week periods.

It doesn’t provide full outfits, sadly—you’ll have to get that blazer yourself, or head to a nonprofit like Dress for Success or Career Gear—but it can add a little free panache to your wardrobe for a one-time event. Because really, you’ll probably only wear that bow tie once, anyway.

The new program was created as part of the NYPL’s Innovation Project, which provides grant funding for new proposals by library staff for things like creating library greenhouses or implementing a job search program for the unemployed. While the collection is only located at one library right now, if it's successful, it may inspire other branches across the NYPL system to do the same. There are already similar "tie-braries" in Queens, New York and in Philadelphia, but it appears that those don't also offer accessories like purses and briefcases.

The small collection currently features 17 different ties and 12 handbags and briefcases, according to the library catalog. The library also has information like interview tips and resources for professional fashion advice on hand for anyone who comes in to borrow a tie or bag.